The Lord is my shepherd! - Psalm 23:1 (NIV)
Psalm 23 of David is perhaps one of the best prayers ever written, with nuggets and inspirations, of benefit to us since and ever before. “The Lord is my shepherd, “David begins.” I lack nothing” (vv 1). What is it that you lack? In his life David had started out as a shepherd, and he knew very well, that a shepherd’s job is to watch over his sheep, feed and water them, and since the Lord is our shepherd, we his sheep shall lack nothing.
Psalm 2 -3 says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” This exactly what a good shepherd does; he takes his sheep to the best fodder, ensuring that his sheep are well fed and rested. When the sheep are restless the good shepherd is troubled. Our God desires and is pleased when we are at peace.
Sometimes we may all find ourselves going through a storm. In Psalm 4- 5, David says, "Even though I walk through the darkest valley I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” The Christian life is not without difficulties, but here David points us to God as our comforter and deliverer. We always have the staff of prayer to lean on.
In Psalm 5, he writes, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” In his tumultuous life, David had to battle with many enemies from King Saul, to foreigners and members of his own family. He knew a lot about betrayal. And, we too, may face enemies no less, from those that oppose us in our workplace for their ambition’s sake, to those who are not pleased because of the Gospel we preach. Yet here, just as David, we are assured that victory is on our side- this is why our cup overflows.
"Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (vv 6). The one who walks with God has a fresh smile ever, for God is with him. The blessings of God are with him wherever he goes.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, as David prayed in Psalm 23, may I not be troubled, for you are my shepherd ever watching over me and your goodness goes ahead of me!
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“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them” – (Deuteronomy 28:2).
Every now and then one chances upon someone despising the importance of being enterprising. To some being enterprising can be equated to the love of money and it’s pitfalls (1 Tim 6:10). Others see it as being overtly worldly. Yet, far from it, being enterprising is clearly an avenue God has given believers to raise resources for their well-being and promotion of the rich Gospel.
The Bible is full of enterprising characters who were used mightily of God. Abraham was apparently a good rancher that he “become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold” (Gen 13:2). Job was hated by Satan who sought to destroy him because “He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area” (Job 1:3).
The Lord Jesus Christ was born and raised in the house of Joseph, the carpenter (Mathew 13:55). Carpenters do not create works of beauty to donate for free. To prosper they must run sustainable enterprises which pay taxes and make profit. The Apostle Paul would often rely on enterprising people to support him in his ministry. One of his worthy converts “was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14).
Though Paul was a law don once he went to the mission field, other than cling to his titles by burdening his hosts he often dabbled in tent making to support himself. In Corinth he teamed up with an amazing couple, Priscilla and Aquila, and “because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them” (Acts 18:3). This couple run a successful tent making business that enabled them support mission work.
And then of course, there is the noble woman of character, as told in Proverbs 31, who “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings.. She sees that her trading is profitable…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (vv 13-25).
When the body of believers is filled with such enterprising people it generates resources important to sustain God’s work. Further, the work of God is then supported without being dependent on sources that might compromise the mission, as sometimes we see! Be enterprising!
Prayer for today: Lord father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, you who has given us the gift of enterprise, today I pray to use this gift to take care of my needs and support the expansion of your kingdom on earth, this I pray in Jesus’ Name.